R.I. kid with cancer’s mom wants more done to fight childhood cancers

WESTERLY, RI (WPRI) – Dorian Murray got his wish to be famous in less than a week, as #DStrong flashes zoomed around the world on the internet. Now, his mom has a wish about cancer awareness.

His parents got Dorian’s fame tidal wave moving with a few Facebook posts after the 8-year-old told his dad he wanted to be famous in China.

“He talked about the bridge in China,” Melissa Murray said. “And we asked, you mean the Great Wall of China?”

That is what he meant, and now hundreds of pictures of people holding #DStrong signs have crashed the internet from Paris to China, and many points beyond and between.The story on WPRI.COM on Monday has attracted about 51,000 views and still counting, with an another 12,000 watching and reacting on WPRI’s Facebook account.

For the record, Dorian has loved it, at least as much as he loves playing Dragon City, a computer game that allows him to build imaginary worlds of Dragons, where cancer doesn’t exist.

But when we asked why he wanted to be famous, his answer was a bit of a surprise.

“Cause then I can get lots of girls,” he said, with the grin of a teenager.

His charm is matched by his strength. Almost four years of treatment ended just a few days short of his eighth birthday.

“It is very, very tough,” he said shaking his head. “It is very tough.”

“And he made the same decision that we did knowing full well what stopping his treatment would mean for him.”

His parents are as amazed by their little boy as the rest of the world is.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” his mom said. “He’s my hero. He’s gone through so much. And just every day he makes me proud.”

Dorian was four when a sore leg and a lack of energy prompted a check-up that was far worse than routine.

“He had a 9-inch tumor in his leg and then they found cancer throughout the rest of his body, ” his mom said. “And it was devastating and life changing.”

There were prayers and hope. Ups and downs. But when cancer was found in Dorian’s spinal fluid in December, the family was faced with longer odds, and an impossible choice. Young Dorian was given an adult say in the decision.

#DStrong has been seen from Paris to China.
#DStrong has been seen from Paris to China.

“And he made the same decision that we did,” his mom said. “Knowing full well what stopping his treatment would mean for him and his life. And he made it.”

Realizing his wish is one thing.

“It makes me feel very, very good,” Dorian said.

His mom wants his story to eventually motivate more than texts and tweets.

“Pediatric cancer is one of the top killers of children and yet it is so severely underfunded,” she said. “And there’s no reason for that. We need to change that.”

Statistics show about one in 300 children will get one of the dozens of forms of cancer that attack children, and 20 percent will die within 5 years of the diagnosis. Dorian’s mom hopes his fame will somehow spark a movement to improve those odds. But for now?

“Now, we make him famous,” Dorian’s mom said with a smile. “And we’re home keeping him comfortable and just enjoying the time we have with him.”

The story on WPRI.COM on Monday has attracted about 51,000 views and still counting, with an another 12,000 watching and reacting on WPRI’s Facebook account.

In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

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